How Long Can You Safely Leave Canned Cat Food Out?

Cats are notoriously finicky eaters, and their dietary preferences can change on a whim. As a result, it’s not unusual for cats to leave some of their food uneaten at mealtime. If you’re wondering how long you can safely leave canned cat food out, the answer depends on several factors. 

how long cat wet cat food sit out
how long cat wet cat food sit out

You can leave wet cat food out for a while, depending on the temperature. If you don’t have air conditioning, don’t leave the food out more than 20 minutes in the summer. This same 20-minute limit applies in the winter if there’s a heater on or if the kitchen’s warm. Under optimum temperature, the absolute maximum would be 30 minutes.

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Is Air Exposure Bad For Cat Food?

To keep your food safe, you must keep it away from the air. This means keeping the food storage container closed and as airtight as possible. The moisture in the food can lead to mold, so be careful. Another thing to think about is the storage temperature. Do not store pet foods, even unopened bags or cans, in the garage or shed where temperatures can go above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Generally, food manufacturers recommend keeping kibble and canned food cool, dry, and out of the sun. You can use the kitchen pantry or an inside closet.

How Long Cat Wet Cat Food Sit Out

While dry food is less likely to become contaminated with bacteria, it’s important to note that all types of cat food should be stored properly to prevent bacterial growth. Wet food, in particular, should not be left out for more than two hours, as the moist environment is more inviting for bacteria to grow.

Moreover, since dry cat food is cooked at higher temperatures, bacteria that are present in raw ingredients should be killed by the cooking process. Dry cat food won’t spoil if you leave it out for several days, but it’s best to throw away leftovers and wash Fluffy’s dish on a daily basis to keep it fresh. You should keep in mind that dry food gets stale pretty quickly, so it may not be as appealing to your cat after that.

Does Cat Food Need To Be Refrigerated?

You should refrigerate any canned food left in the can after opening. It’s best to warm up the next serving because cats don’t like cold food. For uneaten food, you can use zippered disposable bags. You can easily warm them up in the sink with running water. Next time, put it in a microwaveable dish, cover with plastic wrap, and warm it on low for a little while. Rather than making the food hot, warm it up to room temperature.

Richard Hayes

Hey there! Meet Richard Hayes, the big boss and marketing guru behind Pet Dog Planet. He's been a total doggo fanatic since forever and loves all kinds of pups, from tiny teacup Chihuahuas to big, burly Bulldogs. His absolute favorite pastime? Snuggling with adorable puppies—he can't get enough of those cute little faces! Plus, he's totally into iced coffee, chilling in hammocks, and, of course, more puppy cuddling!

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